Scott Weiland is best known as the former singer of Stone Temple Pilots.
During his two spells with the band, he’s appeared on six studio albums, including the multi-platinum releases Core (1992) and Purple (1994).
He’s also released three solo albums as well as two albums with Velvet Revolver, the supergroup featuring former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum. Most recently, he released Blaster, the debut album by his new band, Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts.
Here, he talks TeamRock through the 10 best songs from his storied career.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – Plush (Core, 1992)
Scott Weiland: “This song kinda wrote itself: Robert [DeLeo, STP bassist] came in to the studio with this guitar riff and set of chords and the melody just came right out. I had working lyrics that I used initially and then finished off once we had a demo recorded. When the song was released we were actually on tour supporting Megadeth, and by the time Plush became a hit there were more people coming to see us than Megadeth, which rather changed the whole vibe of the tour: at the start we were playing to heavy metal fans who didn’t know what to make of us, but by the end we had our own crowd.”
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – Interstate Love Song (Purple, 1994)
“This is a great song, and a very important song for us: it was a number one single on the rock charts, which really helped the album sales, and it’s still played on radio all the time. We wrote the whole Purple album really fast: some of the ideas were floating around while we were touringCore, but most of the songs came together really quickly during a two week pre-production stint in a rehearsal studio, before we flew to Atlanta to record with Brendan O’Brien at his Southern Tracks studio. I think we recorded the whole album in ten days, it really flew by, but the songs stand up great.”
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – Big Bang Baby (Tiny Music… Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop, 1996)
“This was definitely a departure from what we’d done on Core and Purple, and showed some of our glam rock influences. With that album we wanted to do something lo-fi and under-produced – we recorded drums for one song on the studio lawn - and I think it worked out great. I love this video because it’s so tongue-in-cheek, as is the song, and I still play Big Bang Baby with my band The Wildabouts. People didn’t always get the humour in STP, but songs like this and Art School Girl were quite playful.”
SCOTT WEILAND – Barbarella (12 Bar Blues, 1998)
“I started working on this song on a four-track recorder, and the drum beat loop was something I did on a cheap drum machine. We took the demo to a big 24-track recording studio, and I worked with an engineer friend of mine, Tracy Chisolm, and my ex-brother-in-law Tony Castaneda to build the song up into the finished version. I happened to be in the lounge of the studio watching Barbarella on TV which gave me the idea for the lyrics, which are a kind of tribute to the film.”
MASTERS OF REALITY – Jindalee Jindalie (How High the Moon: Live at the Viper Room, 1997)
”[Masters of Reality frontman] Chris Goss produced some songs for me with my first side band, The Magnificent Bastards: we went into the studio with him a couple of times to record music, including the theme song from the Tank Girl movie, Mockingbird Girl. I was a huge fan of Masters Of Reality, so working with them was cool: it was quite a liberating experience and it was something I felt I needed to do at the time, in order to get a breath of fresh air.”
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – Days Of The Week (Shangri-La Dee Da, 2001)
“When I first heard this I thought it was a catchy tune, but maybe a little too pop heavy: as far as the lyrics and melody go I decided to take a Beatles-style approach, and that worked out well. Looking back, I think we probably shouldn’t have released it as the first single from Shangri-La Dee Da because typically we started with a heavier song first, and I think this would have made a better second single. But it seemed right at the time, I guess.”
VELVET REVOLVER – Set Me Free (Contradband, 2004)
“This was actually the first song we wrote together, and it was a huge hit for us. We wrote it in the studio, then got our record deal off that one song: we did a showcase for a real who’s who of the music industry in our rehearsal space in Los Angles and that was the only song that we had, but it was enough to start a bidding war for the band. This was on the Hulk soundtrack, and it was kinda amazing to have a song be that successful from a soundtrack album, but along with Slither this was one of the songs that really turned people on to Velvet Revolver.”
VELVET REVOLVER – She Builds Quick Machines (Libertad, 2007)
“I love this song. At the time I was listening to a lot of Queens of the Stone Age, in fact all of us were, because we were playing on a lot of festivals with them, and I think the main riff to this has a Queens-type of vibe, and a really cool melody. [2007’s] Libertad wasn’t as commercially successful as [2004 album] Contraband but I think the music on that album is great – even better than Contraband on some songs – and Brendan O’Brien’s production is fantastic, so I really have a lot of affection for this album.”
SCOTT WEILAND – Winter Wonderland (The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, 2011)
“I know this album took people by surprise, but I’ve always wanted to do an album of Christmas standards in a traditional style. It was a really excellent experience recording that album, a lot of fun to sing with a full orchestra, strings, brass, piano and upright bass. I’ve always felt that if I’ve had an inclination to do something artistically I should follow my instincts and this one worked out well. For me, it’s absolutely essential not to get stagnant creatively and to keep re-inventing things, but this wasn’t ever going to take me away from rock ‘n’ roll permanently.”
SCOTT WEILAND & THE WILDABOUTS – Modzilla (Blaster, 2015)
“Working on Blaster was a great experience, probably the most fun I’ve had since making Core with STP: it’s been a lot of fun starting over. This is a great rock song, with an amazing guitar riff, and it really sets the tone for the album. I’m almost rapping the melody here in the verses, spitting out a lot of syllables over the beat, and I think that makes it a really original song. I think it’s a good entry point into the album: if you like this, chances are you’re gonna enjoy the rest of what we’ve done.”
Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts’ album Blaster is out now.